There are many different types of accountancy you can work in the finance sector; all of which are different in the services they provide and their functions. The various types of roles in these different accountancy areas of work can also differ in the types of setting you work in, the professional progression in each area, the range of responsibilities needed as well as other factors. Most types of accounting fall under these accountancy areas:
- Corporate Accountancy
- Forensic Accountancy
- Management Accounting
- Public Accountancy
- Tax Accounting
Depending on which area you are interested in; Here we give an overview of the different types of accountancy to help you decide which area of work is best for you.
Corporate Accounting focuses on all areas of a business’s accounts; From preparing annual reports, to providing financial advice. Corporate accountants can be employed by private clients by accountancy firms or in industry where they can work for commercial companies or even financial services in middle office banking roles.
This type of accountancy is a specialist are of accounting where forensic accountants are tasked to investigate financial inaccuracies, misconduct or disputes. Forensic accountants utilise their accounting, auditing and investigative skills in order to identify financial discrepancies for their clients. As well as undertaking a more investigative type of work, forensic accountants can also be employed by companies to help prevent any financial issues from happening to keep a good reputation. There are many areas in which forensic accountants can work such as in the public and private sector, accounting firms as well as firms that may have specialist forensic accounting departments. As with other types of accounting, it is also possible to work as your own business where you can offer services to different types of firms and individuals.
Management accountants work internally to provide financial insight, this include forecasting, budget analysis to help with financial decision making. This differs from Financial accountants where they offer financial insight externally to investors and shareholders. Management accountants normally work in financial departments in pretty much and type of organisations in the public and private sector. They can also work externally as a management consultant where you can offer your services to different businesses and clients.
Public Accountancy in providing accountancy services to organisations in the public sector. This includes local and central government, charities and not-for-profit organisations. In the UK, examples of these types of organisations include the NHS, Department of Work and Pensions and the National Audit Office.
Charity and not-for-profit
To work for charities and not-for-profit organisations, accountants in this area have the responsibility of managing scarce resources that the organisation has. This includes possibly working in a management accounting role, and liaising with trustees to manage the needs of the organisation. There is also the opportunity to possibly work in other areas such as for a charity specialist auditing firm; if you are interested in moving into other areas of accounting.
Tax accounting is a type of accountancy that only focuses on primarily tax related situations of a company. Accountants would normally focus on the preparations of public financial statements and other types of work; whereas those working in tax tend to work on tax returns and payments for a company. Tax accountants can work for within a firm, for individuals or independently to help their clients.
Audit is an independent examination of a company’s accounts conducted by an outside party. To do this, auditors review the client’s financial records in order; to make sure that is it a fair reflection of the company and the systems the company has in place are effective. Auditors can work in the accounting departments for firms or externally with independent chartered accountancy firms.
Insolvency is when a company’s debt exceeds the value of its assets. In these situations, an accountant specialised in insolvency will help manage their finances; in order to help the company be able to function and recover from financial difficulties. There are quite a few areas you can work as an accountant specialising in insolvency and business recovery, these include in banks, professional service companies and accountancy firms.
There are many more types of accounting in this profession so depending on which area of work you are interested in; as a chartered accountant there are many opportunities for growth and progressions. You can even work for many different types of companies in other industries such as in fashion, beauty and technology which are always in need of accountancy services.